Snowmobile season opens, officials urge safety
VERMONT - With additional snow expected in the coming weeks, the US Forest Service is looking forward to a successful snowmobile season and wants to encourage all riders to put safety first out on the trails in the coming months.
Green Mountain National Forest officials are advising snowmobilers to exercise caution when operating on the National Forest and all lands in Vermont this winter. GMNF officials would like to remind snowmobile enthusiasts to heed all gates and signs and to stay off roads and trails that are closed. Forest Service employees and several snowmobile clubs throughout Vermont have been working to clear trees and other debris from trails. However, trail users should continue to use extra caution early in the season as some trees may be weak due to snow accumulation and downed tree hazards are likely.
Weather permitting, snowmobile use is allowed on designated trails within the GMNF for four months, beginning on Friday, December 16, and ending on Saturday, April 15, 2023. The GMNF will continue to work closely with state and local law enforcement agencies as well as the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers to make sure that users of the trail system are respectful, responsible, law abiding, and safe.
The GMNF and VAST cooperate to maintain more than 470 miles of National Forest System trails that are part of the larger statewide snowmobile network.
The US Forest Service is also warning the public of the dangers associated with riding, hiking, and skiing on frozen water bodies. Trail users are encouraged to be mindful of fallen trees and other hazards they may encounter. Operators must maintain control of their snowmobile, keep to the right, wear helmets, and stay on designated trails only. All snowmobiles must be registered, have liability insurance, and a current VAST Trails Maintenance Assessment decal. Officials also encourage winter trail users to pack a flashlight, cell phone, food, and extra warm clothing in case of an emergency.